News, Politics

Nigeria Decides 2023 – Day 3 Update

Michael Antonorsi


April 1, 2023

Election results are slowly filtering in and being announced as votes from Saturday’s election are collated. Delays and controversy surround what is considered the most hotly contested election in Nigeria’s history since military rule in 1999. The African Union observer mission has stated that voting had been delayed in more than 80% of the polling units due to logistical challenges and insecurity. INEC held elections in the 141 LGAs in Bayelsa State where the process was disrupted and delayed.

Peter Obi has been declared the victor in Enugu and Lagos, Tinubu’s political birthplace and stronghold. Tinubu accepted the results and urged his Lagosian supporters to remain peaceful. Tinubu has won the elections in Ekiti, Kwara, Ondo, Ogun, and Oyo states. Abubakar has been declared the victor in Osun, Gombe and Yobe states.

INEC assured voters before the election that the newly introduced BVAS system would upload to INEC’s viewing portal (IReV) the live results from polling units. The viewing portal is still failing to show live results. The commission has stated that the problems were due to scaling up the capacity of IReV from a system initially tested in off-season state elections to one handling a nationwide general election. Yakubu stated yesterday, “Consequently, the Commission wishes to assure Nigerians that the challenges are not due to any intrusion or sabotage of our systems, and that the IReV remains well-secured”. Voters were optimistic that the IReV system would increase the transparency and fairness of the election; its total breakdown has brought forward old fears and accusations of political chicanery by public officials. The EU observer mission stated INEC’s, “lack of efficient planning in critical stages and effective public communication reduced trust in the process”.

All three leading presidential candidates assure their voters that they will emerge victorious. Political pundits and analysts have cautioned that these unsubstantiated claims of victory will further deepen public distrust of the polls and undermine its legitimacy.

“The claims by the three parties aim to motivate their voters who are urged to protect ballot boxes from rigging. But the unsubstantiated claims of victory increase the risk of protests, both peaceful and violent by disappointed voters,” said Mucahid Durmaz, senior analyst at Verisk Maplecroft, a global risk intelligence company.

The obscurity of the issues facing the collation process has resulted in Obi Labor Party saying it had “lost confidence” in an election that was “severely compromised”. Similarly, Abubakar’s party has threatened to reject the election results because of the operational and technological glitches in the voting process. Tinubu’s party responded by accusing his rivals of having “perfected plans to finally scuttle” Nigerian democracy. To cool simmering tensions former president Olusegun Obasanjo issued an open letter accusing INEC of corruption and said “danger and disaster” is looming if the errors of the election are not resolved. Obasanjo addressed outgoing president Buhari directly, asking for the cancellation of all elections that are not transparently credible and to rehost them in one week’s time.

INEC promised transparent elections and must therefore deliver on this promise in a timely manner to ensure a peaceable process.


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